Young people across Argyll and Bute are being urged to take part in an online survey exploring their aspirations and attitudes to the wider Highlands and Islands region.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has commissioned the survey to find out what 15-30 year olds think about education, jobs, quality of life and cost of living, and whether their attitudes and aspirations have changed over the past six years.
The population of 15-29 year olds living in the Highlands and Islands is around 16% compared to the Scottish average of 20%.
A range of initiatives progressed in recent years should help give young people more opportunities to stay in the region and attract others from elsewhere.
They include the award-winning ScotGrad graduate placement scheme, the University of the Highlands and Islands being awarded university status, and the £146m rollout of next generation broadband infrastructure led by HIE and BT.
The new survey will find out what young people think about education and employment opportunities and also cover a range of issues including housing, leisure, culture and community life.
Douglas Cowan, HIE area manager for Argyll and the Islands, said he was keen that the voice of Argyll and Bute young people was heard.
He added: “Young people are a vital part of a thriving region. Previous work from 2009 highlighted the need to do more to attract and retain people between 15 and 30 in the region. We need to assess how aware young people across Argyll and Bute are of opportunities and of what else we and our partners can and should be doing.”
Ann Devine, Principal of Lochgilphead Joint Campus, added: “This survey provides a great opportunity for young people to have an input to the shape of their own future and the future of their community. We need to work together to ensure that Argyll and Bute is an attractive and vibrant place where young people can stay, grow and develop. It is essential that the target group participates in the process and school staff will be encouraging pupils and staff to take the time to complete the survey. I look forward to seeing the results.”
Those who take part in the ‘Young People and the Highlands and Islands’ survey will be in with a chance to win one of five pairs of three-day tickets to the sold-out Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival in August.
The survey is open until the beginning of April 2015 and can be found at www.hie.co.uk/HaveYourSay